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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » MMORPGs and the Indie development

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34 posts found
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10872

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

8/24/12 9:17:33 AM#21

I think it will all depend on the development tools. Currently, there are development tools for games, but not for all the infrastructure that allows the games to exist. Developers have to write the server software, networking software and even the chat portion of the software. There doesn't need to be a product, there just needs to be libraries available to do those sorts of things, so that developers can focus on writing the game instead of all the support infrastructure for the game.

I think the second stumbling block is the place to host the servers themselves. This is an additional expense that developers of co-op multiplayer games don't have to worry about. I'm not sure what can be done here.

** edit **
I'd move the hosting from the developer to the players. Have it work like Minecraft where players can host their own servers. That's just me though, not everyone wants to play on some random individual's server.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  WereLlama

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 213

8/24/12 10:56:46 AM#22

We are building a small online game and the costs typically are:

1. Unity3d Licensing ( platform dependent but expect 3-5k  per developer ) 

2. 3d Modelling and skinning (300 - 800$ / mobile )  (statics are much cheaper typically)

3. Rigging/Animation (200 - 400$ / mobile )

4. Levels ( 1000$ - 4000$ / level )   ( wide range here obviously )

5. General Programming ( Do it yourself or plan to spend a fortune )

6. Server management (100$ / month - Beta,  est 500$ / month release for 30k-ish  total playerbase) 

7. Project Management ( Do it yourself or plan to spend a fortune )

8. Illustration / Artwork / Music (  bare minimum stuff 2 - 3k )

9. Developement hardware (2k a year maybe )

9. Paying for stuff that you ended up throwing out ( 10-20k per year ) ( I just suck at forcasting everything perfectly )

Of course,  the more you do yourself the less time you have for project management and running the business side  but can save some money.  Personally,  I find it easier to work full time on non-game stuff, and pay others to do as much as possible.  

Im curious what other indie online game makers are budgetting.

-Blitz

 

 

  dna_mor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 9

8/24/12 11:06:39 AM#23

There was a mention of  Repopulation on here already. That is a Hero Engine game. I'm pretty sure they aren't using  a source license. 

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

8/24/12 11:17:29 AM#24


Originally posted by BlitzVF
We are building a small online game and the costs typically are:

1. Unity3d Licensing ( platform dependent but expect 3-5k  per developer ) 

2. 3d Modelling and skinning (300 - 800$ / mobile )  (statics are much cheaper typically)

3. Rigging/Animation (200 - 400$ / mobile )

4. Levels ( 1000$ - 4000$ / level )   ( wide range here obviously )

5. General Programming ( Do it yourself or plan to spend a fortune )

6. Server management (100$ / month - Beta,  est 500$ / month release for 30k-ish  total playerbase) 

7. Project Management ( Do it yourself or plan to spend a fortune )

8. Illustration / Artwork / Music (  bare minimum stuff 2 - 3k )

9. Developement hardware (2k a year maybe )

9. Paying for stuff that you ended up throwing out ( 10-20k per year ) ( I just suck at forcasting everything perfectly )

Of course,  the more you do yourself the less time you have for project management and running the business side  but can save some money.  Personally,  I find it easier to work full time on non-game stuff, and pay others to do as much as possible.  

Im curious what other indie online game makers are budgetting.

-Blitz

 


This is a very insightful breakdown - thank you for providing this. I have taken a low/no budget approach (hence my need for Kickstarter). I've been doing all the technical and business stuff myself (Island Forge is written from scratch in Java, without even any external libraries). Most graphics are used under open source license (I am not an artist, and can't afford to hire one yet). Development hardware: $263 self-built computer.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  User Deleted
8/24/12 11:20:07 AM#25
Originally posted by Clerigo

In a time where the future of the MMORPG genre is being tested, discussed, by every single community, players and professionals, websites and magazines alike, one has to think that there are forces working hard to bring this genre to brighter days other than big label companies.

Maybe its our responsability, as end service customers, to provide the correct line of feedback about finished products in order to correctly balance and polish a given game, but the original quality of the product, its design and production quality rests fully on the label working the tittle.

Now, its my opinion that, despite the efforts being made by the major game developers in trying to innovate the genre or polishing the traditional aspects of it to the maximum potencial, the majority of those efforts fall short in accomplishment. I know its not easy, and that gamers are not an easy crowd to please, but the facts are clear and this genre is currently under fire.

But, once in a while, we see something being done correctly, something that makes us smile and have good hopes for this genre and, well, lately i found my smiles being fired towards some indie developments i am currently following.

Yes you can say that the majority of indie development projects are towards other market segments, many of them even for core games, custom engines, etc, but theres also room for our beloved mmo genre. I recently played "Path of Exile" and was very happy with the outcome, following closely "The Repopulation" wich im happy to say had a very nice run in its Kickstarter fund campaign, and very surprised with this simple DayZ mod and itching it can find a way to see life as a finsihed mmo product. And im sure there are others.

My question is: can the indie developers bring this genre to new heights when it comes to innovation and game design/mechanics? Whats your toughts on this subject?

Thank you.

Nope for all their hopes and aspirations I have yet to see an Indie company produce anything wit hthe production quality of a AAA game studio.  This doesn't mean that some of their ideas arent valid or good but usually overall their games are pretty horrible.

  TruthXHurts

Novice Member

Joined: 6/20/10
Posts: 1641

I am here to chew bubblegum and to kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum!

8/24/12 11:20:35 AM#26
Originally posted by Vorch

Personally, I don't understand why MMO companies don't buyout smaller succesful independent developers.

Even indie developers outside the MMO genre.

I think many of these companies provide a fresh take on gaming in general, and if that creativity can be harnessed and nurtured, you can add add a truly unique flavor to a traditional style of gaming.

If they just bought them out and closed their doors then we would have nothing to point at and say "See they are trying somethign different!" Then the AAA could develop their mindless trash and send mankind plummeting down into a pit of complacency and despair of which the world has never seen before.

 

McDonalds doesn't want you to eat steak. They want you to eat their mass produced worm burgers. They don't even try to make a steak because they know it would suck, cost them too much to make, and would just make you want real steak that much more. 

"I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  dna_mor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 9

8/24/12 11:23:43 AM#27
Why the insistance on "AAA"? A "C-" indie MMO is better than no indie MMO... 
  User Deleted
8/24/12 11:26:15 AM#28

Many people expects high quality graphics etc,something that product can give to them.

When i play paper and pen RPGs or live action, most important thing is what we can give to that game.

Something is wrong,but in indie world,Minecraft allready showed for the masses that impossible is possible.

So to me it seems like indie is the way to go,today.

 

 

Edit : mmmm EA indie game,well some impossible things should stay impossible.

 

  dna_mor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 9

8/24/12 12:00:57 PM#29
Originally posted by ForumPvP

 

Edit : mmmm EA indie game,well some impossible things should stay impossible.

 

Is that regards to Orgin's service to publish indie games? 

  User Deleted
8/24/12 12:24:27 PM#30
Originally posted by dna_mor
Originally posted by ForumPvP

 

Edit : mmmm EA indie game,well some impossible things should stay impossible.

 

Is that regards to Orgin's service to publish indie games? 

Do i mean that?no,i mean this business.

 

Board of Supervising Directors

Information on the current board of supervising directors


Gerhard Florin, Chairman of the Supervisory Board
(born 1959, male, German, 1st term, member since 2011)
Dr. Florin presently works as an independent contractor. In that capacity he currently serves as board member for: King.com based in London; InnoGames based in Hamburg; and Kobojo based in Paris. From 2006 to 2010 Dr. Florin served as an Executive Vice President and General Manager of International Publishing of Electronic Arts Inc., initially being responsible for the international publishing business of Electronic Arts and later for their worldwide publishing business, based in Geneva. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Florin served as Senior Vice President, responsible for Electronic Arts’ European publishing business, based in London. From 1996 to 2000 he served as Vice President and General Manager for the German speaking region of Electronic Arts’ business, based in Colonge. Prior to joining Electronic Arts, he held various positions at BMG, the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, and served as a Consultant of McKinsey. Dr. Florin holds Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Augsburg, Germany. Dr. Florin holds 100,000 share options in the company and 0 shares.

 

Michel Cassius,

(born 1957, male, French, 3nd term, member since 2006)
Mr. Cassius is CEO of Gekko.com, a private internet company based in London. Mr Cassius is also co-founder and Director of YoYo Games Ltd, a startup company which launched www.yoyogames.com in 2007, a user generated casual gaming site. In the past, Mr. Cassius has served as the European Managing Director of Fun Technologies and as Senior Director of Microsoft's Xbox business in EMEA where he managed the publishing and Xbox Live businesses and launched the Xbox 360. He previously spent seven years at Electronic Arts, where he led EA.com, Electronic Art's online gaming business in Europe and launched Ultima Online, one of the first MMO's in Europe. Mr. Cassius holds 66,000 shares and 100,000 share options in the Company.

 

 

and thats funcom,do i want EA guys sitting on mmm for example Wollays board ,no i dont and i hope Wollay does not  like that idea either.

 

  worldalpha

Novice Member

Joined: 11/03/11
Posts: 401

Working hard on WorldAlpha

8/24/12 1:03:55 PM#31
As a developer for an indie MMORTS, I think a 3D MMORPG is beyond the scope of almost all indie studios.  Each studio needs to focus on a project that is within their capabilities, and won't break the budget.  That's why I've chosen the social strategy genre.  It is mainly 2D graphics, with interaction with other players in strategizing, at its core.  I'm hoping it is a chord that strikes some, but I realize not all MMO players.  By keeping it small to begin with, it is both acheivable, and something that I hope to grow to a much bigger level, as it catches on.  I'm excited to see where it goes.

Thanks,
Mike
Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

8/24/12 6:04:46 PM#32
Originally posted by Zylaxx
...

Nope for all their hopes and aspirations I have yet to see an Indie company produce anything wit hthe production quality of a AAA game studio.  This doesn't mean that some of their ideas arent valid or good but usually overall their games are pretty horrible.

I disagree. I find the products of the AAA companies horrible: mass-market appeal, streamlined, shallow, like convenience food. I always think they're made for the people that watch all these TV sitcoms, hehe.

Of course you can't have a small indie game with the production quality of an AAA company. Personally, I value the creativity and imagination of indie companies more - instead of playing themepark 284, no matter how popular said themepark might be.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  dna_mor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 9

8/26/12 6:33:57 PM#33

I was about to reference wikipedia about Funcom. I'm sure I've read that they'd been given a grant from the Norwegian gov't to produce games, but it doesn't say that in the wiki page. Maybe on their officail website? 

I'm not sure where, but I also read that Eve Oniine had been produced with gov't grants as well, but CCP isn't American. I know I looked it up because on the Eve Online credits they mention a Georgia studio. I looked up that Georgia studio (can't remember the exact name but it had Georgia in the name) and it said they'd had grants from that state's gov't. 

Sorry for the lack of credible evidence. :( 

 

  WereLlama

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 213

8/28/12 10:15:45 AM#34
Originally posted by worldalpha
As a developer for an indie MMORTS, I think a 3D MMORPG is beyond the scope of almost all indie studios.  Each studio needs to focus on a project that is within their capabilities, and won't break the budget.  That's why I've chosen the social strategy genre.  It is mainly 2D graphics, with interaction with other players in strategizing, at its core.  I'm hoping it is a chord that strikes some, but I realize not all MMO players.  By keeping it small to begin with, it is both acheivable, and something that I hope to grow to a much bigger level, as it catches on.  I'm excited to see where it goes.

 

I disagree, an indie developer 'can' make a 3d MMORPG, he/she just needs to have a reasonable idea what they are doing.

15 years ago when I started as a mmo hobby programmer (I was inspired when UO came out), it was a pain to build things since it was relatively new medium.  I had to build everything from scratch.  My 2d blits in assembly, etc... Talk about tedious. Today, for the same amount of my time, I can make amazing things I could only dream of back then. 

Yes,  we have more mmo competition today, but I feel the ratio of players to mmo developers is the same as it was 15 years ago.   Why?  Because of the server side programming that MMOs require.  I bump into tons of 3d game makers but hardly any that know anything about network programming and optimization, server side AI/Pathfinding, database design, and just general software architecture.   "But I make a rad shader"... No offense, but thats a dime a dozen.

MMOs, at least on the development side, are still niche enough to compete.

Combine that with the huge influx of Mobile/Casual players that are aching for a mmo that fits their lifestyle, this is the time to build, build, and build.

I read about folks on this site's huge desire for Sandbox games all the time.  Play "Build my own MMO" game.  Its got a great skill tree.

-Blitz

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